This one I have no memory of, but I love our hats and I love the way my dad is looking at me as I am clearly enjoying that candy cane. This was Christmas of '85, at my aunt's house. I didn't get candy very often. I still have that hat in my closet. Dad looks like an early incarnation of a hipster.
Next up is a little number I like to call "Why the --- did you get rid of that guitar? I would have gotten better eventually." I remember improvising my own songs. I was a child hippie.
Last but not least, puppy love. Or puppy and kitten love. Whatever. First pets. Happy dog and Pippi Longstockings. Happy existed before I was born, and Pippi came into my life around the summer after second grade.
|Pippi--I had always wanted to do this when I got a cat|
I love everything Madeleine L'Engle writes, but this is particularly apropos:
The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been. ... I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be. ... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages...the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide. ... Far too many people misunderstand what "putting away childish things" means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I'm with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don't ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child's awareness and joy, and "be" fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.
Eine kleine Nachtmusik:*
Our next door neighbors have a girl, about age 4, who tags around after her brother all the time. Today he and some friends tossed wiffle balls off the side of their house, just outside our kitchen window. We were fixing dinner and laughed to hear them playing. "Do you think every generation of kids thinks they're the first to come up with that idea?" I asked Andrew. He had been one of those kids, too. We usually keep the kitchen blinds slanted closed but pulled up enough for the cats to sit in the windowsill and watch "kitty cable." Sally, our new foster cat, sneaked over to check out the ruckus, and the little girl saw her. She plopped down next to the window and smashed her nose right up against the screen. "Hi kitty cat," she said. She didn't see Andrew and I, even though we stood less than ten feet away frozen and silent, watching her talk to Sally. The girl pressed her whole mouth against the screen, "Hello, kitty cat." Soon Sally wandered off (ADD kitten) and Molly came to investigate. As soon as the little girl saw Molly (3x bigger than Sally), she jumped back, clambered up and ran off, apparently startled by the huge hairy beast that had appeared in place of the kitten. Too cute.
|Molly--fluffy, not fat|
*Apologies to Mozart. In fact, to all of you. Any German on this page has been figured out via Google Translator-bot.